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Serial Killer

20070506: Moldovan serial killer gets life for anti-Russian murder spree Haifa Serial Killer News
A Moldovan serial killer has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in Israel for killing four Russian immigrants. He burned the bodies of his victims after brutally murdering them. Now, Pridnestrovie's Russians reach out to Moldova to stop hate crimes.

The Haifa District Court on Sunday sentenced Nicolae Bonner, a Moldovan, to four consecutive life sentences for the grisly serial killings of four immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Also known under the name Nicolai Bonner, the Moldovan-born immigrant is 33 years old.

The victims were all beaten, their faces bruised, and then attempts were made to set their bodies on fire. According to the charge sheet, Bonner's first victim was a female Haifa resident of Russian descent who invited the Moldovan to her home, where she was brutally raped and sodomized before having her lower body set on fire.

In addition to the four life terms in prison, Bonner also received another 17 years simultaneously: He was also sentenced to five years' imprisonment for attempted murder, nine years' imprisonment for aggravated rape, and three years for other charges including aggravated assault and interfering with judicial proceedings.

Bonner, an ethnic Moldovan, moved to Israel from Moldova in 2000. He is not Jewish, but was allowed to immigrate to Israel alongside his Jewish wife who later died, too. From Chisinau, he brought his unmarried sister, Lucia Bonner, to Israel. She was later deported back to Moldova for not being Jewish and thus not meeting immigration requirements.

Serial killer's targets: Russians

According to Israel's Haaretz newspaper, although the first murder occurred in 2005, police did not suspect a serial murderer until the third body of Valeri Soznov was uncovered two months later, and similarities were noted between the crime scenes.

Before that, Aleksander Levnat - another Russian - had also been murdered by the Moldovan who confessed to hating all Russians. This was the second victim, and the first male to die in the killing spree.
On May 1, an important Soviet holiday, Bonner celebrated by murdering his fourth Russian, Aleksander Keres, whom he had met the day before.

" - I didn't even know his name," Bonner told investigators, according to the Haaretz newspaper. "Really, I didn't."

Initially he confessed to the murders, but in court on Sunday he pleaded innocent. Bonner's claim of innocence failed to persuade the judges. They noted that, apart from his confession, he had also led interrogators to the scenes of the murders.

He was also a suspect in the brutal murder of Sergei Dvorkin, whose body was burnt to a crisp near the main Tel Aviv bus terminal in December 2004. Police believe that the method used by the Tel Aviv killer was similar to that employed in Bonner's four murders in Haifa. For example, each of the bodies found in both cities was burnt. Also, Bonner admitted to being in Tel Aviv on the day of the murder in question.

Among the witnesses who testified in court was Sergei Blobstein, a Russian Jew. Nicolae Bonner tried to kill Sergei Blobstein on his 42st birthday. Unable to set him on fire, Bonner left him for dead. The Russian victim survived by dragging himself to the hospital, where he stayed for three days, suffering from broken ribs, slashes on his face and respiratory problems.

Russians community worried about Moldovan hate crimes

After the verdict, a member of the Russian community expressed relief that Bonner had finally been put behind bars. "I pray he dies there," Regina Lifshits said of the Moldovan serial killer.

Haifa's Russians have recently taken steps to protect their community from what they fear could become a series of copycat crimes by other Moldovans targeted against Russians.

With the blessing of Israel's authorities, 20 Russians have banded together in a new volunteer police "immigrants battalion" under the command of Colonel Vadim Slepakov. An ethnic Russian with family ties to Pridnestrovie, Slepakov is a veteran paratrooper who has fought in Afghanistan.

He now leads an elite Russian-speaking, Russian-looking volunteer police unit to protect the immigrant community. The unit members, with their black shirts bearing the logo of a growling Russian bear, are a formidable sight. They have received equipment and formal police training from the city's law enforcement.

" - This is our last chance to save this neighborhood," Haifa police Commander Nir Mariash told Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

Suitcase, trainstation, Russia!

In the Republic of Moldova, ethnic Moldovans have 'de facto' immunity for hate crimes against Russians, and no Moldovan has ever been convicted by a Moldovan court for politically motivated attacks on Russians.

The Moldovan hate rhetoric has spilled outside Moldova's borders as well, and other ethnic minorities have also been the targets of intolerance. Last year, Cabinet member Avigdor Lieberman — an immigrant from Moldova — declared that Palestinian citizens of Israel "have no place here" and that they should "take their suitcases and get lost."

This was a direct echo of a slogan which the Moldovan-born cabinet member learned from Moldova's independence movement in Chisinau in 1990. There, Moldovan treatment of its minorities took on an ominous fascist overtone as a new mantra rang out — "chemodan, vokzal, Rossiya!" "suitcase, trainstation, Russia!" — giving the Russian-speaking population their marching orders.

The slogans were repeated daily on government radio in Moldova. In Pridnestrovie, the ethnic Russians grew convinced that the natural historical independence of Pridnestrovie from Moldova had to be restored in order to avoid persecution and the very real risk of ethnic genocide. As a result, Pridnestrovie declared its independence on 2 September 1990.

Now, Pridnestrovie's Russian community is reaching out to Moldova to stop hate crimes. A meeting of Russians from the two sides of the Dniester river is scheduled for the third week of May, in order to draft a joint appeal to the Moldovan authorities. If Moldova's leadership will not crack down on government-sanctioned hate crimes, the Russian minority groups want international organizations to support Pridnestrovie's independence as a way to protect minorities and also to condemn Chisinau's official negligence of politically motivated ethnic crimes.


20061107: Haifa serial killer found guilty Haifa Serial Killer News
The Haifa District Court on Tuesday convicted Nicolai Boner of four counts of murder and several other offenses. The court called for further hearings on the case at which a psychiatrist is set to be present, after Boner's defense lawyers appealed for a lenient sentence. Boner told Army Radio that he had confessed to the crimes because he felt threatened during the interrogation and out of fear that his daughter would be harmed.

20050530: Serial killer caught in Haifa Haifa Serial Killer News

Haifa Police arrested a serial killer on Sunday who has confessed to murdering four homeless people because "they insulted him," police released for publication on Monday.

Nicolai Boner, a 32-year-old immigrant from Moldova, was arrested on Sunday by Haifa police investigators for the alleged murder of four city residents since the beginning of the year.

Police are also investigating the possibility that Boner was responsible for additional Haifa-area murders in 2004. Police said he generally targeted homeless people who regularly wandered throughout the city.

Boner, who police said was an alcoholic and had a criminal record, beat and murdered his victims and then burned their bodies, mostly in abandoned buildings.

Haifa Police Chief Asst.-Cmdr. Nir Meriesh said Boner confessed to all of the murders shortly after his arrest on Sunday.

"His motive was psychological and he told us that he murdered the homeless people because they insulted him and because he was drunk," Meriesh said. "He would beat his victims and then murder them while he was intoxicated."

On Monday, the Haifa District Court extended Boner's remand by an additional 15 days. At the hearing, Boner said: "I was drunk and I am sorry for what I did." Boner will be sent for a psychological evaluation.

The murder spree which Boner has already confessed to allegedly began on February 9, with the murder of Arkia Wohlman, 52, who was found dead in her Haifa apartment. Boner allegedly followed her to her apartment, and when she spurned his amourous advances, he beat her to death. At his arraignment, Boner said that he "didn't mean to kill her" and just meant to beat her, Army Radio reported.

During the following month, Boner killed Alexander Levnat on Haifa's Rehov Barzilai during a fight over a bottle of vodka. At the time, police failed to recognize this murder as homicide, because the body was so badly burned that police were unable to determine the cause of death.

"We thought it was possible Levnat was also murdered but we couldn't say for sure until Sunday when Boner confessed to that murder as well," the police chief said. "The last two cases however strengthened the feeling that we were in fact dealing with a serial killer."

At the end of March, police found the body of Valery Suchnov in an abandoned building on Rehov Gush Halav in Haifa. The final known victim was Alexander Keres, whose body was discovered at the beginning of May, also in an abandoned city building.

Meriesh said police conducted an intensive investigation to find the murderer.

"We finally got a lead after homeless people complained to police that there was a man with the first name Nicolai who would roam the streets beating them up," he said. "We were able to track him down and when we finally arrested him he confessed to all of the murders."

Meriesh said this was the first time Haifa police had investigated a serial killer. He said that, early on in the investigation, he made a decision not to go public with police suspicions that a serial killer was on the loose, so as to prevent creating hysteria.

"This is the first time we have ever had to track down a serial killer," he said. "We did not feel the need to create concern among the public since we had the investigation under control and knew that he was striking a specific sector homeless people."

Since the beginning of 2005, there have been at least seven murders in Haifa, counting Boner's one-man crime wave. In all of 2004, there were eight.


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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